MINONK – Coming off a 40-point season-opening victory, the Fieldcrest football team will try to build off that momentum when they travel to Downs to square off with Heart of Illinois Conference foe Tri-Valley in the large division debut. Start time is 7 p.m. on Friday.
“We played really well,” stated Knights’ coach Derek Schneeman. “I was most thrilled with the discipline we showed. We did not have any turnovers and only two penalties. We scored on our first five drives. We only gave up one big play on defense.”
Meanwhile, the Vikings were shut out 41-0 at home at the hands of the Bulldogs of Decatur St. Teresa. Two-hundred pound junior fullback Evan Reynolds rushed 13 times for 39 yards. Despite the low output, T-V wants to run the ball out of the wing-T.
“We gotta get off the ball,” Schneeman stated. “They’re so quick off the ball. They play low. Last year, Tri-Valley was in third and three, third and four a lot and we could not get off the field so we have to make them uncomfortable. We have to put them in third and long situations.”
Saint Teresa was effective moving the ball versus the T-V defense, as they amassed 198 yards rushing and 198 yards passing. The Vikings, who according to Schneeman, operate out of a 3-4 look, return seven starters on defense highlighted by Reynolds (linebacker) and senior defensive tackle Tyler Dischert, who also starters on offense at center.
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“We’re at our best when we mix it up,” said Schneeman between run and pass. “We have to establish the run. We certainly do not want to be one-dimensional. They’re pretty good up front.”
Senior Matt Lorton will be the starter at quarterback based on his performance in the opener where he threw two touchdowns and ran for another.
“He commanded the offense good. His energy was good,” assessed Schneeman, a former signalcaller at Streator. “He made some good throws and he made a couple where he held onto it too long. For his first start, he did a really good job.”
The Knights rolled up 230 yards on the ground in a 47-7 shellacking of host Braidwood Reed-Custer.
Josh Roop is in his 13th season at T-V with a 98-35 record. He has directed the Vikings to a league-best 11 consecutive postseason bids. They went 7-5 in 2018, as they lost 27-14 at St. Teresa in the two A quarterfinals. T-V has won the last four meetings with the Knights and hold a 10-7 lead in the all-time series. Last year, the Vikings downed Fieldcrest 29-20.